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Lodewyk Meyer

Lodewyk Meyer is a partner with Baker McKenzie's Banking and Finance Practice Group in Johannesburg. He is a regular speaker at conferences on Africa trade and export finance, investment into Africa and structured finance. He has published on topics such as warehouse receipt financing, legal risks in doing business in Africa and the use of structured finance techniques in agriculture in various publications, among them Global Trade Review, Africa Investor, and Chambers Magazine. He has been recognized by Chambers Global, IFLR1000, Legal 500 EMEA and The Best Lawyers of South Africa. He has received citations for two matters he has handled, such as the Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2014: Multi Currency Borrowing Base Facility to a Middle Eastern and Asian Trader in 9 African Countries coordinated by EcoBank Transnational and the Trade Finance Deal of the Year 2016: Borrowing Base Facility to a South African Commodity Producer coordinated by Deutsche Bank London.

Novice and junior miners struggle to raise traditional debt capital when acquiring or developing a mine. However, the successful implementation of a variation on the streaming contract theme provides an interesting alternative for miners lacking the requisite balance sheet capacity to attract traditional debt finance. This form of alternative financing can ensure that junior miners have sufficient cash upfront to acquire, operate and generate profit from a mine. As such, the possibility arises that the ideals laid out in the Preamble of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act can be realized, specifically that the minerals of South Africa can be used as vehicle for socio-economic upliftment.

Over the last ten years, Africa’s trade growth has been one of the worst among the major global regions, mostly due to falling commodity prices, competition, inadequate foreign exchange liquidity, regulatory challenges and access to trade finance. Although trade finance remains a popular activity among banks, the participation rates have decreased. Despite this persistently large trade finance gap, trade remains a key driver of Africa’s social and economic development. As a result, development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank and the African Export-Import Bank have sought to provide solutions to boost intra-Africa trade.

Our Banking & Finance, Competition & Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trade partners in Johannesburg outline ten reasons to turn your attention to African trade and investment opportunities in the coming year. Some of these reasons include the rise in commodity prices, shifting patterns and alternative financing, digitization and competition law and enforcement.